See Saturn’s Rings As It Begins Its Closest Pass By Earth

10 Juillet, 2019, 02:12 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • See Saturn’s Rings As It Begins Its Closest Pass By Earth

Opposition is the position in Saturn's orbit when it is closest to our planet, making it easily visible in the night sky.

The night of Monday, July 15 will give another great chance to see Saturn.

On July 9, Saturn will reach opposition, which means it will be "directly opposite to the sun from Earth's perspective", at its closest point to Earth and in full sunlight, according to National Geographic. The moon is expected to be in its first-quarter phase, meaning about half of it will be lit by the sun, but the night sky should be plenty dark to see the planet.

Saturn's rings won't be visible to the naked eye, but if you peer at the planet using a telescope, "the rings will seem to surge in brightness", due to the sunlight, National Geographic said. If observers want to see Saturn's detailed features, including its freakish rings and Titan, the planet's icy moon, they will need to use a telescope.

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It will appear highest in the sky about midnight but will be visible all night long, setting in the west as the sun begins to rise in the east.

You won't have to travel through space to get a glimpse of Saturn tonight. You could also spot Titan, the planet's largest moon.

Another thing to note, even though opposition technically occurs at one moment in time, the planet will appear pretty bright in the night sky through the months of July, August, and September.

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